22 Apr Pastor’s Paragraph for April 25, 2021
APRIL 25, 2021
This past Sunday, we held two beautiful Blessing of the Animals services. As we gathered in the courtyard, dogs and humans greeting each other under stunning clouds, I was reminded of the divine connection that we all share.
One of the things that we have learned poignantly and sometimes painfully during the pandemic is that we are all precious, fragile, and intimately connected through the Creator who made us as well as through all elements of the earth that we steward, from the tiniest virus to the largest whale.
During the pandemic, the sidewalks in front of my house have become a virtual parade of parents pushing strollers, children tugging at dog leashes, teenagers on bikes, and grandparents holding the hands of their grandchildren, as they go on walks, breathing air that feels fresher with fewer polluting cars on the road. I have gotten to know far more about my neighbors simply because we’re outside more, enjoying the beauty of creation.
Of course, I wish that this renewed appreciation for nature and the slower pace of life could have arrived without such illness and grief accompanying it. However, I also believe it is good and right to name the gift that this renewed appreciation has been, even in the midst of such pain. I pray that the opportunity to pause and notice new life springing up around us will not be passed by and that this, instead, will be a transforming moment for us, as God’s people. As we notice more of the beauty around us, I pray that we will become even more driven to add to it and protect it—as the scriptures say—that we would take seriously God’s call for us to steward it.
On the “secular” calendar, this week is Earth Week, but I would venture to say that to God, every week is Earth Week. God has made this earth to be good, and all of it is precious in his sight. In New Life worship, we sometimes sing a song called Vapor that includes the lyrics, “trees clap their hands for you—oceans they dance for you—you are holy! Infinite and holy!”
I pray that this week – and every week – we will pause to notice the way that creation points to the goodness of our Creator and that, daily, we will join the dance by intentionally engaging in practices that care for the earth we have been gifted.
Rev. Anna Layman Knox